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There are many in the field of artistic endeavors that take great umbrage when their “Art” is referred to as “Craft”.
I can understand because in society today it seems we label everything and give it a meaning not necessarily based on origins and we tend to lump things together not differentiating between items.

Frist, lets look at the word craft. Orignally there were craft guilds where skilled artisans of the various arts, silversrmithing, painting, musicians, etc. gathered together as an association. The more skilled and experienced would apparentice the new to the craft and the masters in each guild were well revered by society as a whole. There was no stigmatism admitting one was a member of a guild or that one practiced a craft, in fact just the opposite. Guild members were always viewed as those having artistic skill. As being able to plan and make something the general population could not, using their artistic craft skill.

In todays society we have gotten to calling macaroni covered boxes, and altered books art. Now don’t get me wrong, I think those things have their place, but I do not consider them to be truly art, they are hobby skills. They are things made following a pre laid out pattern, there is no artistic skill as there is in planning and executing a work of art. Just as you would not call a paint by numbers painting a brilliant masterpiece these hobby items are not art.

Let’s stop calling them arts and crafts and refer to them as (possibly) well done hobby items. Arts and Crafts was a movement in the art world in the latter part of the 19th and early 20th century. It did not include macaroni covered boxes. It was a reformist movement against the revival of the heavily ornate styles poplular in the Victorian period.

And my fellow artist, if your work is referred to by some uninformed person as a craft, shrug off any negative reaction you may have. Consider it a compliment recognizing the fact that your work is of craft guild member quality, smile and say thank you!

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